Precautions and Procedures During Floods - Further Reading

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Precautions and Procedures During Heavy Floods

When the rain is coming down multiple inches by the hour, an overflow drain may not maintain the pool water level. For some people that could mean water coming into the back of the house.[1]

Appropriate water level in the pool

  • Normal circumstances: halfway up the skimmer, give or take an inch or so.
  • Torrential rains: WITH an overflow drain, keep watch on the rate of rainfall and water level rise. Often the overflow drain will keep up. If the water is lapping under the coping and is not holding, get busy preparing for another way to drain water from the pool.
  • WITHOUT an overflow drain, don’t wait until the water level is lapping the coping.

It’s an individual call on when to act. Experience with your pool and with your area’s downpours makes it an easier decision.

Things to Consider

hose bib/spigot to drain water from the pool

Open up the spigot between the filter and main pump. If that's an unwise place to drain, see below. Respect your neighbors and drain away from their property. If you need to drain faster to keep up with rain fall, attach hoses to each spigot from other pumps you may have.

Important***** pump must be on: with my equipment, we kept the pump on high to get the greatest flow out of the hose. When the pump was on low, it was very low flow out of the hose. Use the speed that gives you a margin of safety from the pool overflowing.

Where to drain

You can attach your garden hose to the spigot and drain to a better place - driveway, street, etc. In the Hurricane Harvey situations, we could not have used our deck drains to put the hose end (the deck drains that run to the street). Our street was a rushing river, so my logic (correct or not) said that water with no place to go would all back up in the deck drains. Then the rainfall on the deck couldn't drain. I could very likely be wrong about that. We ran the hoses to our long driveway which has a decent slope and no chance of pooling near the house. We didn't help the rushing street river.....

SWG System

Turn off the salt system. There’s no point using up your cell as your pool water drains down the street. Some systems may allow you to turn it off; others you simply turn the % level down to zero.

a bleach pool

Don't forget if you have a SWG system turned off, you now need to watch the FC level. As others have said, take it up to SLAM level or at least high enough to give you wiggle room for timing of testing (using the band breaks from the storm to get out there and test or simply add more bleach)


If you're dealing with storms that have bands as with hurricanes or tropical storms, use the break periods from the rain to get the debris out of the skimmers to keep the flow going well.

Alternate Methods to Drain a Pool

  1. filters that drain to waste (not cartridge filters): turn valves to waste
  2. sump pump: if you have one available and have power, throw that into the pool
  3. the old siphon method: "You know, like you used to use when you stole gas from your neighbor's car...

Fill a garden hose with water and then put one end of a garden hose in the pool and the other end down hill somewhere.."